New Bill Would Permanently Take Away Repeat OWI Offender Licenses

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 | by Joe Morey |

State lawmakers held a hearing in Madison on Tuesday to debate a bill that would permanently take away driving privileges for repeat Operating While Intoxicated offenders.

Rep. Beth Meyers of the 74th Assembly District that represents the northern part of Sawyer County said the bill would take away the offender’s livelihood because they need their driver’s licenses to get to work, while other lawmakers said there has to be some type of penalty.

The would permanently take away licenses from drivers who have either four OWI offenses or at least two OWI offenses and two “qualifying convictions.” Those qualifying convictions include certain homicides or other felonies involving a vehicle.

Rep. Meyers said she has concerns over the bill and the impact it would have on drivers who live in rural areas because they may not have any other way to get to work.

Under current law, a driver whose license is suspended or revoked can apply for an occupational license, which restricts where and when that person can drive, such as to and from work. The new bill would prohibit anyone from applying for an occupational license who has four OWI offenses.

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